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How I Detangle My Long Type 4c Natural Hair
Photo Courtesy of Craving Yellow

Many naturalistas start off their hair journeys by cutting off their relaxed strands. As they rock their TWAs with pride, many begin to crave length shortly after and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Natural hair bloggers, the web over, are proving coily hair can grow just as long as any other hair texture. 

One of my biggest secrets to my long, Type 4 hair is simply focusing on the basics: moisturizing, sealing, and protective styling. However, I know that for many Type 4 naturals, this process involves an understated fourth aspect: detangling. Detangling is the process of gently separating the strands to remove any knots and shed hair. Since our strands tend to form very intricate tangles and knots, this process for many naturals is easier said than done. However, in order to retain length, it is important that we learn to embrace and manage them. Here are six essential detangling tips that I have picked up along my four-year journey:

1. Start with stretched hair 

Whatever you do, do not try to detangle a shrunken fro. You might end up in tears or maybe even with a pair of scissors. A dry shrunken fro is a detangling disaster. If you have worn your hair in a stretched style, it’s best that you detangle your hair in that state before saturating it with water. Stretched hair is easier to handle because our coils and curls are slightly looser at this point. You can stretch your hair using two strand twists or plaits. You might even try the banding method or African threading technique. Remember, stretched hair is less prone to breakage and single strand knots or fairy knots. 

2. Section your hair into 6-8 parts 

This is an important follow-up to part one. If you’ve worn your hair in a stretched out style, simply unbraid and detangle each section before moving on to the next. If you’ve been rocking a stretched out fro, you probably want to gently use your fingers to section your hair into 6-8 parts. Braid up each section and hold it back with hair tie or a few bobby pins. When you are done, take down one braid, and completely detangle it before moving on. This not only ensures that each section is completely detangled, but also preserves your sanity.

3. Apply an emollient-based product 

Now, there’s lots of sway among naturalistas on this particular aspect of detangling. Some naturalistas rave about detangling products that add slip to their hair and melt away knots. These detangling products vary in composition, but most are water based. Other naturalistas say that a light oil will do the trick. I have found that whether water or oil based, adding product to my hair greatly aids my detangling process. I simply apply olive oil along the length of my slightly damp hair and proceed to detangle it. I leave the olive oil on overnight to serve as my pre-poo. I wouldn’t advocate for dry detangling, as the friction between my hair and my fingers causes unnecessary damage and breakage.

Read more: What is an Emollient?

Photo Courtesy of Craving Yellow

4. Use your fingers first

There is a vast array of combs and detangling brushes available releasing knots. I have opted to use my trusty ol’ fingers. Brushes cause too much friction and prominent seams in combs can cause excessive damage. My fingers are more than enough when it comes to regular detangling. Detangling using my fingers takes longer than raking a comb through my hair, but it helps me to retain length. If I must use combs on my hair, I only do so monthly or quarterly.

5. Start from ends

This is absolutely crucial. The ends of our hair are the most delicate and prone to damage because they are the oldest. It is critical that you nurture your ends if you are serious about length retention. Remember, the oldest parts of our hair have suffered lots of mechanical damage already from simple wear and tear, so treat them like silk. Do not forget to moisturize and seal regularly with a moisturizer and oil or butter of your choice.

Be patient 

Detangling is a time-consuming affair. Make sure you allocate adequate time. It takes me two hours to fully detangle my waist length hair from tip to root. I fully detangle my hair once a fortnight, depending on my protective styling routine. On detangling days, I make sure I have my stash of movies on hold – this makes an otherwise exhausting process, more enjoyable.

How’s your detangling process? What are your favorite products or tools and how do you use them? 

4 Ways To Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo

Fall in Melbourne, Australia is slowly but surely rolling in. The sun is setting earlier every day and temperatures are consistently getting lower. For me, this signals a need to switch up my hair routine for the changing weather. In cooler months, my hair is more prone to dryness so to protect it from excessive moisture loss, I opt to wash it without shampoo. 

Now don’t get me wrong – shampooing your hair is an important step in maintaining a healthy hair regimen, but not always required. Shampoos are great for cleansing hair, but in the winter months, I find that they leave my hair feeling dry. When I want to cleanse my hair but don’t want to use a shampoo, I use these four DIY remedies:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

This is one of nature’s best gifts to us. Apple Cider Vinegar has a pH level of 4.5-5.5, similar to that of a healthy scalp. To use ACV as a cleanser, I use an undiluted mix straight from the bottle. I pour it over the length of my hair, massaging the product into my roots and along the length of the hair shaft. If you haven’t used ACV before, you may want to start out with a diluted mix – just 2 tablespoons of ACV in a cup and then alter your recipe to suit your hair needs. For me, an undiluted concoction gives a deeper cleanse, but that’s just my personal preference.

2. Diluted Lemon Juice

I love all things citrus so this is easily one of my favorite ways to cleanse my hair without shampoo. I simply squeeze a lemon into a cup of warm water and make sure to remove any seeds or pulp that might get lodged in my hair. Then, I pour the diluted juice over my hair. Lemon juice, just like ACV, has a low pH which favors our scalp and strand health. I massage the juice onto my scalp and then rinse off with cool water.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda has many popular uses in the home and it’s great for hair care too. To cleanse your hair with baking soda, put two tablespoons in a cup of warm water. Stir the mixture until it’s dissolved. Pour the solution liberally over your hair, focusing on the roots. Let it sit on your hair for 3-5 minutes, then rinse off with cool water before conditioning your hair.

4. Bentonite Clay

I’ve used bentonite clay in my hair and beauty regimen for years. I like that it draws out impurities on my skin and scalp without stripping my hair of moisture. To cleanse my hair with bentonite clay, I add two large tablespoons of bentonite clay into a plastic bowl. I then slowly pour some ACV over the clay until it has a yogurt-like consistency. I generously apply the mixture onto damp strands and then cover my hair with a plastic cap for 15 minutes. I carefully wash off the clay and proceed with my deep conditioning.

Do you cleanse your hair without shampoo? If so, how do you do it? Leave us a comment down below, we’d love to know.

Read next: All about the no-poo method

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This article has been updated.
4 Telltale Signs Your Hair Product is Expired

Have you ever opened an old hair product only to find it had turned into a stinky, gooey mess? I sure have! I stumbled upon a bottle of conditioner that I had stashed away because I wanted to use it sparingly, only to find that it had gone bad. I was distraught! I’ve come to learn that while most products have an expiry date on the packaging, these tend to rub off with time making it difficult to determine just how much shelf life each one has. Sometimes, like in my case, the odor of a product might signal that a product has expired, but here are four other ways by which to determine the usability of your hair product: 

1. It says so on the packaging

I know I’m guilty of not reading the expiry dates on my hair products. I’m keen to check the dates on products I consume, but for some reason I always assume that products I apply to my hair are within their use by date. This is not always the case. If you have never looked for an expiration date on a hair product, click here to see the symbol you should be looking for. Some products, particularly those that are made of an organic or all-natural base, might have a short shelf life. It’s always worth the time to check when your product will go off by looking at the time stamps on the packaging.

2. Your product is lumpy

Imagine curdled milk and now look at your hair product. If it bears semblance to the former, it’s most likely time to discard it. Oftentimes, products can get denatured when stored at the wrong temperature or if kept on our shelves for too long. If your product used to glide smoothly onto your palms and now it spurts out in unsightly lumps, just dump it.

3. Your product doesn’t perform as it once did

You might find that you’ve been following the exact process as you always have when it comes to your twist out, but somehow now your hair feels crackly, dry or has a gray mask on it. Your product might be to blame for the hair frustration. Every time you open a product (especially if you are dipping your fingers into it”> you are exposing the product to the bacteria in your bathroom or shower. If you have been using the same old deep treatment for three years, chances are it is contaminated or it has simply reached its expiration.

4. Your product suddenly causes irritation

This one can be tricky to detect, because if you have trusted a product for years, you wouldn’t think it could turn its back on you. If you have started to experience a mild burn or itch when using your trusty Holy Grail product, you might need to re-examine it. Irritation might be caused by a change in formulation when the product goes off. You’d better toss your old mousse, head over to a dermatologist for treatment, and then re-stock your stash with products within their use by dates.

Reference: Paula’s Choice: When to Toss Out Beauty Products

Have you mistakenly used a hair product that had expired? What telltale signs confirmed that it was time to let it go?

This article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.
How To Keep Your Head Warm This Fall in Style

Fall is here in all its colorful glory! Here are four stylish ways to keep your head warm whether you’re carving pumpkins or melting smores over a bonfire.

The Timeless Headwrap

How To Keep Your Head Warm This Fall in Style
Image via @kilahmazing

I love headwraps! They are a wonderful way to add colour and warmth to your outfit on these cold and gloomy fall days. Grab a scarf from your mom’s closet this fall and make good use of it to ward off the cold. You can wear one to cover up a bad hair day or to spruce up your protective styles, all while keeping your head warm. Don’t forget to wear a satin cap underneath because headwraps made of cotton or polyester will suck up all the moisture from your hair.

The Classic Beret

How To Keep Your Head Warm This Fall in Style

Image via @maureenpowel

This chic and classic hat will have you looking like you just came from a coffee date at the Eiffel Tower. It can turn any outfit from casual to catchy in just a matter of seconds.

It’s easier to wear a beret with your hair or braids hanging down over your shoulders, but if you want to wear your hair out curly or wear curly wig, here’s a tip from Spenser Baselice of She says to “position the beret on your head the same way you would for straight hair but style the curly hair so it flows out and around the sides of your face and down your shoulders.”

There are various beret designs out there to choose from. You can opt for a deeper colour for a bolder look or a white/ivory one for a cleaner, crisper look. Tilt it to the side and wear it with a red lip, trench coat, and some boots for a full-on Parisian look.

The Good ol’ Beanie

How To Keep Your Head Warm This Fall in Style
Image via @ceciliagorgon

You can always count on a beanie to keep your head warm when temperatures start to drop. They’re just so warm and fuzzy, but just like headwraps, be sure to get one with a satin or silk lining inside to protect your strands. You can be adventurous this season and stray from the dull-colored ones and opt for a pop of color — go for brilliant red or vibrant yellow. Wear them with an over-sized utility coat and some military boots and, girl, you have yourself a look!

The Bold Baseball Cap

How To Keep Your Head Warm This Fall in Style
Image via @jd_winters

Baseball caps are making their way back this fall and I am here for it. Personal stylist Crystal Cave says, “Baseball hats have been more popular in recent years. Think of using it like a graphic tee with a fun design or phrase.” I couldn’t agree more. I love all the different designs I’ve been seeing around and I think it’s such a laid back yet cool way of expressing your style. Pair yours with a basic tee, a denim or leather jacket, a pair of jeans and some sneakers to run your errands or to meet up with the girls.

Check out this article for more stylish, curly girl-approved hats for the cold weather and let me know which one of them you’ll be trying out this fall season. Don’t forget to stay warm.

How To Refresh Your Hair Without Wetting It

woman with natural hair

We all go through that time in the middle of the week when we contemplate whether or not to give our hair a quick, midweek wash. Your hair may feel gummy in the humid, summer weather, or maybe just sweaty after exercising at the gym. Busy schedules may mean we do not have the luxury of spending an extra hour cleansing our hair during the week, so it is always handy to have a few tricks up our sleeve to refresh our hair without wetting it.

1. Loosen your hair tie

This is the simplest and most straightforward trick in the book. There is nothing quite as good as loosening my hair tie after wearing it in a bun for the day. While I like to style my hair in a low manipulation style for the week, I have found that giving my hair a little break is sometimes all I need. When I loosen my roll and tuck or flat-twist, I take time to fluff out my roots as well. I have found that this aids circulation to my scalp. After a couple of hours aerating my roots, I style my hair again and it feels as good as new.

2. Cleanse your scalp with diluted lemon juice

Lemon juice is one of nature’s treats, I tell you! I use it in many of my daily activities, be it cleaning stubborn stains or even flavoring dishes; I have also found it to be really beneficial for my hair. To refresh my hair with lemon juice, I simply add a teaspoonful to half a cup of water. I then use a cotton pad to dab the solution on my scalp. Diluted lemon juice is slightly acidic, which favors the natural pH of our hair.

3. Smooth aloe vera juice on the length of your hair

Like lemon juice, aloe vera juice is another one of nature’s power foods that is beneficial to the health of our hair when applied topically. To refresh your hair with aloe vera juice, simply pour a teaspoonful onto your palm and dab it along the length of your hair. Make sure to gently smooth it into your hair from root to tip. Aloe vera juice is naturally antiseptic, antibacterial, and high in water content, so if your hair is feeling really crunchy, this may be the way to add some life to your strands.

4. Apply a hot oil treatment

Hot oil treatments are a fantastic way to increase blood circulation to your scalp. I have found them not only beneficial to the overall health of my hair but also really relaxing. Now who does not like a home-spa to soothe some after-work nerves? To refresh your hair using a hot oil treatment, simply reach for your favorite virgin, 100% cold pressed oil (you may choose to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you like”>. Heat the oil in the microwave until warm to the touch and apply to your scalp, rubbing in a circular motion with your fingers. Pure heaven! Your hair will have added luster and you will feel super relaxed. Can’t be mad about that!

If hot oil treatments are a new addition to your regimen, these are the top 5 oils for hot oil treatments.

How do you refresh your hair without wetting it? Leave us a note down below, we’d love to know!

This article has been updated.

5 Must-Do’s Before You Use Heat On Your Hair This Festive Season

The festive holiday season is here with us, and the weather is cooling down. It’s the perfect time to whip out your blow dryer and curling iron to try out all those amazing styles you’ve been avoiding because of the summer’s humidity-induced frizz that just wouldn’t let your styles thrive.

But we all know that to achieve some of these styles, we have to expose our hair to high levels of heat, which could potentially lead to heat damage.

Here are five must-do’s before you use heat on your hair this festive season:

5 Must-Dos Before You Use Heat On Your Hair This Festive Season Image by iStock/Serg Myshkovsky

1. Section it up

Always work with your hair in sections through the entire heat-styling process! Trust me, it is always easier, and will give you the best results. Not only will you be able to reach the roots better, but it ensures every inch of your hair is thoroughly detangled, moisturized, and of course, styled, remaining frizz-free for longer.

2 Always start on clean hair

You need to make sure that your hair is free from any product or buildup prior to applying heat to it. If your hair has products on it such as oils, these can fry up from the heat and cause damage to your hair strands.

Now, in fall, because of the harsh weather, use a much gentler clarifying shampoo to wash off any products that may be coating your strands. Los Angeles-based hairstylist Marcia Hamilton swears by the Crème of Nature Argan Oil Apple Cider Clarifying Rinse. She says, “Apple cider vinegar is one of the best treatments to remedy buildup caused by products in your hair.” And we couldn’t agree more. After clarifying or deep cleansing your hair, use a rinse-out conditioner to re-moisturize your hair. Conditioners also provide a barrier between direct heat and your hair, so that’s a plus.

3. Protein treatment

Have your hair in the best condition to withstand the effects of the heat by treating it to a good protein deep-treatment mask prior to straightening. Protein treatments work to seal in any gaps on your hair strands, making your hair stronger and less susceptible to heat damage. Look out for thicker, richer protein treatments this fall season. You may follow up your protein treatments with a moisturizing deep conditioner to smooth out and add moisture to your hair before heat styling.

4. Protect from the heat

So many of us are guilty of not using a heat protectant when straightening our hair. Believe me, I am too! But according to celebrity hairstylist Matthew Collins of Brennen Demelo Studio, “Heat protectants are one of the most important products to have in your styling kit. If you’re going to blow dry or use any hot tool, I always urge my clients to use a heat protectant.”

Heat protectants help provide a shield between the heat and your hair strands. They seal your hair cuticles to help reduce moisture loss during heat straightening. What’s interesting, though, is that the main ingredient in some of the best heat protectants is silicone. You may have come to know that silicones can insulate your hair strands and lock out moisture, but not to worry, SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Grow Thermal Protectant Spritz is Curly Girl Method friendly. It will help keep your hair stretched and ready to withstand humidity, letting your styles last for much longer.

5. Manage the heat

After you’ve done all these steps, your hair is now ready for the heat, but not so fast. Be sure to ensure that the temperature on your appliance is always on a low setting, and don’t allow more than two passes of the flat or curling iron on one section.

After all is said and done, even with the best care, frequent use of heat will likely cause some damage to your curls. So be sure to give your hair a break from the heat every now and then. You can opt for heatless hair stretching methods, like African threading, bantu knots, or banding.

How do you prepare your hair for heat styling? Let us know in the comments section!

These Braided Styles Are Gorgeous for Any Season

This summer we saw so many beautiful braids and protective hairstyles, but just because it’s fall doesn’t mean you can’t continue to rock these gorgeous protective styles. A new season calls for a look and if you’re in need of some hair inspiration, check out these hairstyles. Here are 5 of my favorite braided hairstyles that are great for any season. Scroll down and let us know your favorite!

1. Ethiopian cornrows

Curlies around the world are borrowing styling ideas from our East African sisters in Ethiopia. And I’m all for it. Having grown up in Kenya, I lived amongst several Ethiopians and their hair was always styled beautifully.

A mix of small and medium-sized cornrows are interwoven to create an intricate surprise of a hairstyle. Throw in a couple of beads and even shells and your hair will brighten up any dull fall day!

Double image of a woman with Funami braids
Picture courtesy of @transformedbyo
Woman with head piece and braids
Picture courtesy of @samrawith

2. Faux Locs

A couple of seasons ago, faux locs with a coily texture were in fashion. But this fall, it seems that ones with a glossier finish are a go-to style. Rather than have each loc finished from root to tip, curlies are opting to have the ends of the loc undone and wavy.

Faux locs are quite simple to install – a pack of ready-made ones can easily be crocheted to your hair to prevent over-manipulation of your natural hair. It certainly wouldn’t be a fashion faux pas, to pair your hairstyle with a leather jacket to add some edge to your overall look.

Woman smiling with blonde faux locs
Picture courtesy of @msjena2
Woman sitting down holding her faux locs
Picture courtesy of @queen.jazznicole

3. Side Swept Braids

The first time I saw a friend of mine in side-swept braids as a protective style, I was simply in awe. Need I say, she’d fashionably completed her look by layering a long coat over her denim jeans and a white tee, her long braids gracefully framing her face.

It’s no wonder this fashion trend spread quickly on social media! I haven’t tried this protective style before, but if you would on our behalf, you’d need to ensure you install small-sized cornrows.

The braid extension can be added to the ends of your plaits. And if you can, ensure they hang quite long – waist length preferably. The gist of this style seems to be in the adorable hang of the braids.

African-American woman with side swept braids
Picture courtesy of @aseamae
Woman with jumbo braids
Picture courtesy of @fashionmycurves

4. Bejewelled Hair

The more bling, the better. This fall, curlies and coilies are adding a little sparkle and shine to their protective styles using gold cuffs, cowrie shells and colorful beads. Accessories give that festival feel that we can only reminisce about now that summer is behind us.

Installing jewelry on natural hair can be quite simple. You can simply wrap some copper coils around a few of your braids or string a few beads onto the ends of your braids. Most accessories are affordable and easily accessible online.

African-American women with beaded box braids
Picture courtesy of @nikeliphotography
Woman looking down with braids with multi-colored beads
Picture courtesy of @queenteshna

Further reading:

Our favorite celebrity braid styles of the year (so far”>

The top natural hair wedding trend of 2017

What fall hair trends are you currently loving?

5 Must-Know Tricks For Healthy Colored Hair

Sometimes we just want to switch up our look a little bit. Maybe to signify a new phase in our life, or to simply refresh our look. How to better do this than give your hair a new color?

5 Must-Know Tricks For Healthy Colored Hair

Changing up your hair color can add an edge to your look. But sometimes this color high may be short-lived, and your hair may start thinning out, get extra dry, and possibly even fall out.

Hair dye works by opening up your hair cuticle to lift off your natural color and, in turn, deposit the new one. This chemical process can leave your hair strands very porous and in need of extra care to prevent breakage.

Here are some tips on caring for and maintaining beautiful and healthy colored hair!

1. Examine the state of your hair before the dye application

Before you go in for a dye job, first assess the state of your hair. Is it brittle? Dry? Breaking? Healthy? Shiny?

Remember, applying color to hair is a chemical process, so if your hair is already vulnerable, you wouldn’t want to expose it to the potential damage caused by dyes.

To prepare your hair for a dye job, frequently deep condition, moisturize, and seal your hair in the weeks prior to application. Also, snip off any damaged ends prior to your appointment. This will ensure your hair is at an optimal healthy state going into your color process.

2. Use a color-safe, moisturizing shampoo

Chemicals in hair dyes dry out hair, and using the wrong shampoo can dry it out even more. After coloring your hair, be sure to steer clear of shampoos with sulfates because they’ll do more harm than good for you.

Look for shampoos that are not only sulfate-free but also have some strengthening and color-preserving properties in them. One good one is the Aphogee Shampoo for Damaged Hair. It’s gentle and moisturizing, and it strengthens the hair and keeps your hair color vibrant for longer.

3. Keep up with your deep conditioning treatments

Remember hair dyes make your hair strands more porous. This means that moisture escapes your strands faster than normal. To avoid dry colored hair, you need to ensure that you keep up with your weekly moisturizing deep conditioning sessions and your protein treatments every four weeks.

Protein treatments will help strengthen your hair by temporarily filling in the gaps in each hair strand. Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner is both a moisturizing and protein deep conditioner, and would be a worthwhile investment.

4. Moisturize your hair daily

Apart from your weekly deep conditioning sessions, moisturize your hair daily to help boost its moisture levels and help it stay elastic and healthy to prevent breakage. Spritzing your hair with a water-based leave-in conditioner and sealing it in with an oil like the Cantu Anti-Fade Color Protecting Oil is one way to go about it. This oil not only seals in moisture, but also protects the hair against damage by UV rays, and restores the vibrancy of your hair color. A good choice of leave-in conditioner for colored hair would be the Eden Bodyworks Citrus Fusion Hair + Body Butter. It’s lightweight, hydrates the hair and is a great styling product.

5. Protect your hair

As your hair is quite weak when chemically altered, it’s important to keep it nicely tucked in protective styles more often than not. Simple protective styles will help preserve your hair and allow it to ‘rest’ from the everyday manipulation.

At night, keep your hair protected by sleeping on a satin pillowcase or bonnet. We spend a good amount of time in bed, and placing your head on cotton material will surely suck out all the moisture from your hair. Get yourself a satin pillowcase or bonnet and enjoy lasting moisture and frizz-free curls.

What are some ways you keep your colored mane looking lively and vibrant? Leave us a note down below, we’d love to know!

5 Kenyan Naturalistas to Follow Right Now

The natural hair movement is one that has greatly captured the world.

Women from all over have gone back to embracing their natural hair textures and are rocking them without any apologies!

Today we’ve featured five naturalistas from Kenya who are oozing manespiration.

Maureen Kunga

Part of the talented Elani Music group, Kunga has a beautiful mane, which many Kenyan girls only dream of having!

She’s one of the few celebrities who wear out their afro almost daily and have mastered the art of keeping it thick, full and hydrated! With over 150,000 Instagram followers, her natural hair is seen in its full glory in almost all her posts.

Several Kenyan natural hair care brands have not hesitated to partner with the gifted artist and we definitely see why. A music mogul and naturalista, she is definitely our hair inspiration.

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View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Maureen Kunga (@maureenkunga”> on

Image by @maureenkunga

Patricia Kihoro

Kihoro is a Jane of all trades. She’s graced the entertainment industry with her popular show on Kenya’s No. 1 Hip Hop radio station, HomeBoyz Radio, and she’s an actress, singer, comedian, event host, fashion icon, YouTuber and of course a naturalista.

Patricia has retained her TWA for as long as she’s been in the public eye, a trend that many Kenyan women have also adopted in many different forms and styles. She knows how to switch it up with a wig, head wrap, braids, and even going as far as dying it blond! 

Her style always incorporates a hint of Africa — from Kenyan-made brass jewelry to beaded chokers, Kihoro stays true to who she is and her warm personality is evident in everything she does!

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Image by @misskihoro

Kambua Munundu

Kambua Munundu has touched and blessed many Kenyans with her talent in gospel music and she too has not shied away from flaunting her natural hair. She’s known to have her hair mostly in protective styles such as braids, hair extensions, wigs, and head wraps.

Even when she wears her hair out, she keeps her styling versatile. She’ll rock a sleek bun or a low puff. We can surely say that she’s not only a hair inspiration but the epitome of African beauty!

Image by @kambuamuziki

Anita Nderu

Voted best-dressed personality of 2017 at Pwani International Fashion Week & Fashion Awards, Anita Nderu knows the latest trends in fashion and hair care. She rocks her curls in a simple sleek low bun, and when it comes to protective styling, she loves a good colored wig! She recently partnered with one of the most prestigious hair salons in Kenya to create a fashion and hair lookbook! Here’s a photo from that shoot.

Image by @anitanderu

Joyce Omondi

Much like Kambua, Joyce Omondi is one woman who was blessed with an amazing voice, good looks, and luscious curls! With music as her central focus, she embraces her kinks and coils with a simple twist out, flat twists and an updo to die for!

Her love for family, nature, and food is seen in a lot of her Instagram posts and her following is always growing! Her bubbly personality makes many Kenyan women look to her as a source of life and hair inspiration.

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A post shared by Joyce Omondi Waihiga (@joyceomondi”> on

Image by @joyceomondi

For more manespiration follow all of these naturalistas on their Instagram accounts today!

7 Reasons Why Your Natural Hair Isn’t Growing

When you’ve been stuck with the same hair length for a while, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that your hair has stopped growing, but unless you’re suffering from a medical condition, rest assured–your hair is still growing.

The average hair growth rate is about half an inch every month, meaning we get about six inches of new growth every year. The reason your hair may seem like it’s not growing is because curly hair is so fragile that, if not properly taken care of, it may break at almost the same rate that it grows, if not more.

Here are some reasons why your hair growth seems to have stagnated:

1. Dryness/Lack of Moisture

7 Reasons Why Your Natural Hair Isnt Growing
Image via Instagram @Cravingyellow

With all the coils and kinks on our hair strands, the sebum produced on our scalp can’t travel down our hair shaft, meaning our strands are left dry and prone to breakage. To help curb this natural phenomenon, you need to keep up with your hair’s moisture needs. After every wash day, make sure that you use a water-based leave-in like theMielle Organics White Peony Leave-In Conditioner, to boost your moisture levels, seal the moisture in with your choice natural oil and then proceed to style your hair. In between your wash-days, you can lightly spritz your hair with some water to refresh and re-activate the product.

2. Excessive use of heat

7 Reasons Why Your Natural Hair Isnt Growing
Image via Thrifty Fun

Using too much heat, or frequently using heat to style your hair can cause your hair to be extra dry, leaving your strands brittle and prone to breakage. Always ensure that you use a heat protectant like the Miracle 9 Touch of Nature Silk and Smoothing Honey & Avocado Heat Serum; it seals in moisture and protects your hair from intensive heat damage.

3. Harsh chemicals

Frequent use of hair dyes and other chemical-laden products containing sulphates, parabens and silicones will leave your hair dry and brittle and prone to breakage. Opt for henna instead of your usual hair dyes, and always be sure to read product labels to ensure they don’t have any harsh chemicals in them.

4. Genetics

Our hair strands grow in cycles. Each strand individually goes through the Anagen phase, which is the growing period of a hair follicle; this is followed by an intermediate phase called the Catagen phase, characterized by slower growth; and finally, the Telogen phase, which is the resting and shedding period. Each person’s growth phase differs, and is largely determined by genetics. It typically lasts between two and six years, advises Dr. James C. Marotta, plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist.

5. Diet

7 Reasons Why Your Natural Hair Isnt Growing
Foods rich in nutrients that help promote hair growth. Image via Daily Whatz

Not eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated could slow down hair growth. Hair follicles need to be nourished to help them function at their optimum. “Your hair is comprised of the second fastest growing cell in your body and you have around 120,000 hairs growing on your scalp at any given time, all of these hairs need support”, adapted from the Harley Street Hair Clinic magazine. Aim to eat foods rich in vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein and essential fatty acids.

6. It’s time for a trim

7 Reasons Why Your Natural Hair Isnt Growing
Image via Youtube – Ijeoma Kola

Clinging on to our damaged ends actually hinders hair length retention. Split ends left unattended could travel all the way up your hair shaft, damaging your hair and leaving it susceptible to breakage. Trim your hair at least every 4 months to get rid of these rugged ends, help keep your hair healthy, and encourage more length retention–supporting your overall hair health, and growth.

7. Health issues

Sometimes slow hair growth could be attributed to underlying health issues. If you’re doing all of the above, and your hair growth is still stagnating, Stephanie Scuoppo, a hairstylist and hair extension specialist at Oscar Blandi Salon, advises to pay the doctor a visit to rule out any allergies, dermatitis, hormonal disorders and general health issues.

Feel like your hair isn’t growing? Share how you’ve overcome your own hair growth challenges in the comments below! Also, check out this other article about hair growth.

6 Fresh Hair Colors to Try This Fall

Summer is almost over! But don’t let that bum you out. Just like the trees, as the branches let go of their leaves, moving from their glorious past to embrace their future, so does fall signify new beginnings for us. If you’re feeling the spirit of fall and want to change things up a little bit, trying out different styling options on your hair is definitely one way to do it. And there’s no better way to do that than to switch up your hair color! Here are some colors that will stand out this fall:

1.More color but deeper tones

6 Fresh Hair Colors to Try This Fall
Image via @AmberJanielle

Nothing says change like dying your hair to a deep, bold, rich tone. This fall, we’re about to see more people be bold with their styling choices and hair color is one of them. Stephanie Brown, a leading hair colorist at predicts that we’ll be seeing lots of jewel colors, plums, reds and darker pinks.

2.Golden highlights

6 Fresh Hair Colors to Try This Fall
Image via Pinterest

Golden highlights in the fall are a great way to warm up your look, and they look absolutely stunning on warmer skin tones. They will have your curls popping and give them a vibrant feel – but you won’t look like you’re doing too much. Your styling choices are also not limited. You can still put your hair in braids without the fear of having your hair color peeking through.

3.Caramel with honey blonde highlights

6 Fresh Hair Colors to Try This Fall
Image via Pinterest

This is another subtle choice, but it still says ‘I’m here!’. Like Beyoncé on the August cover of Vogue Magazine, this look really brightens your look, and will have you oozing radiance like the queen herself. You can experiment a little and dye your roots a richer shade for an ombre effect. L.A. colorist Justin Anderson says the idea is to deepen the root shade so that the blonde accent actually appears brighter by contrast.


6 Fresh Hair Colors to Try This Fall
Image via @sza

They say whenever you’re out of hair styling ideas, just dye your hair. Copper is one color that is always on trend, all year-round, and looks oh-so beautiful on warmer skin tones, like on SZA, as pictured above. Most people like to go lighter in the summer and warmer in fall and winter. Styling is also a breeze when your roots grow out; darker roots and fiery red ends are definitely a look.


6 Fresh Hair Colors to Try This Fall
Image via @IamTraeh

Blond was big this summer, and we definitely predict that we’ll be seeing even more of it this fall. If your hair is platinum blond, you can decide to go a bit deeper and softer with it in autumn, just to spruce up your look and to transition from the summer fun, to the fall flair. However, styling blond hair can be quite taxing. You always have to be on top of re-dying your hair whenever your roots start to grow out, in order to maintain a neat look.

6.Maple Brown

6 Fresh Hair Colors to Try This Fall
Image via @issarae

Just as with Issa Rae, this color reflects beautifully on darker, warmer skin tones. This is a nice, subtle color,and has a gorgeous ombre effect when your roots start growing out.

Are you coloring your hair this Fall? If so, let us know your go-to shade in the comments below! You can also check out our collection of hair colors available in SHOPNaturallyCurly here!

Where to Find Curly Hair Products in Australia
Where to Find Curly Hair Products in Australia

Moving or relocating with natural hair can be daunting, particularly when it comes to finding a new products that meet your curly hair needs. When I relocated from the United States to Australia earlier this year, my first resort was to hoard hair products. As I wasn’t too sure how the natural hair product market would be in the land down under, I purchased several of my Holy Grail products in bulk, because prior to my arrival, I did not know any Australian natural hair bloggers or vloggers or Australian-made curly hair products. Additionally, all my friends and family here had warned me about “something in the water” that weakens your hair. Yikes! Being that I love my curly hair, I used my precious US-bought products sparingly. But as time would have it, my product stash diminished and I began the hunt to restock some old favorites and find some new treasures.

As a naturalista in Australia, you could opt to buy online, try locally made, organic hair products, or build a D.I.Y product stash. Let’s dig into the first two options – if you’d like to read some DIY recipes, click here.

House Of Beauty World

This online store stocks hundreds of hair products, such as SheaMoisture and Cantu. They ship internationally to Australia at affordable rates. You can find the following deep conditioner and oils on their site.

  • Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream
  • Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Extra Moisture Transitioning Milk
  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
  • ApHogee Two Step Protein Treatment
  • Tropical Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  • Olde Jamaica African Shea Butter


This affordable online store stocks an even wider variety of hair goodies. I’ve also heard that they ship out products quite fast. Trust me, being that Australia is a remote continent in the South Pacific, this is a huge plus!

  • Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics GPB Protein Deep Conditioner
  • Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner Moisture Intensive

K-Mart & Target

If you’re looking for combs, brushes, hair ties, bobby pins and hair accessories, you’re bound to find plenty here. K-Mart & Target also stock a wide variety of internationally known electronic styling tools like blow-dryers and curling wands.

Coles and Woolworths

If you like to add glycerin, honey, apple cider vinegar, or aloe vera juice to your hair products, you’ll find plenty here. If you’re after organic extra virgin oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and sweet almond oil, you’ll find these in the food aisle. (Thank goodness for nutritional food items that are just as great for our hair!”>

Boutique stores

There are several boutique stores on Swanston Street in Melbourne with hidden gems, so feel free to roam. It’s perfectly fine to be a tourist in your new found home!

Happy African Variety Store at Dandenong, Melbourne

If you’re looking for braiding hair, afro wigs, and weaving hair, check out this store. You’re bound to meet a fellow naturalista.

4 My Curls

This online shop carries curl favorites such as Aunt Jackie’s, Bounce Curl, Cantu, Curl Junkie, Curls, Jessicurl and SheaMoisture. You can also buy sample sizes to test out the products before you commit to the full size.

Afro Puffs

This online shop was opened by Tomasina Boone, former Advertising Beauty Director of Essence Magazine and Associate Publisher of Hype Hair Magazine. You’ll find Holy Grail brands like Mixed Chicks, SheaMoisture, tgin, The Mane Choice, ECO Styler, and and Miss Jessie’s.

Are you a naturalista in Australia? Where do you buy your hair products? Leave us a note down below and let’s help each other out!

Two Naturalistas Share Their Holy Grails for Type 3 & 4 Curls

It’s that time of the year when we get to set our natural hair goals for 2018. And that may include taking some time to look at products that our natural hair loves and stocking up on them.

I spoke to some naturalistas to ask them what products they’re carrying into the new year with them, and this is what they had to say:

Coco Vandeen

Name: Vanessa Ndinda aka Coco_Vanveen

Tabitha: What are some of your holy grail products?

Vanessa: I’d have to begin with KenTaste Virgin Coconut Oil. This is just gold in a can, I never run out because I’m always all stocked up the minute it hits half. I love it because it is so easily absorbed into my strands, it keeps my hair moisture packed without dripping down my face, and I get to smell like a tropical forest throughout the week.

T: I couldn’t agree more! My type 4 coils love coconut oil too! What other treats does your mane love?

V: My next holy grail would have to be hydrating shampoo bar. Thanks to this shampoo, gone are the days my natural hair is left dry, stripped down and brittle after shampooing. This bar lasts for close to 4 months, it’s a light cleanser that doesn’t strip my hair of its natural moisture, it foams perfectly and brings my curls back to life.

I’d also have to admit that I can’t live without Profective Mega Growth Anti-Breakage Strengthening Deep Conditioner. My natural hair loves this stuff! Infused with avocado, Shea and coconut proteins it revives my hair, gives it that healthy shine, a boost of strength and my curls start singing for joy. With my high porosity hair, this deep conditioner is a staple.

T: Oh yes! Porosity really does play into what products work best for our hair. What other products are you using to help combat your natural hair’s high porosity?

V: I’ve been reaching lately for Peppermint Shea butter by Binti Naturals. I love using this as a sealant then leaving my natural hair in two strand twists. It reduces scalp inflammation, takes care of my itchy scalp as well and protects my hair from those strong UV rays. It also conditions my hair and gives it that healthy shine.

T: Indeed! Your natural hair is just goals! All the best with your hair journey!

V: Thanks, Tabitha!

Sheila Ndinda

Name: Sheila Ndinda

Tabitha: Okay Sheila, you are certainly one of Kenya’s top natural hair icons! Tell us the secret – what products do you use on your hair?

Sheila: Oh thanks, Tabitha! I love to keep it simple. Hydrating Clay Shampoo bar is my favorite shampoo hands down. It cleanses, hydrates and adds moisture to my hair strands without stripping it off its natural oils.

T: Yes! Bu.Ke Products is by far one of my favorite cleansers. In fact, Vanessa, who I spoke to earlier, loves it as well. What other products do you use in your wash day regimen?

S: I love conditioners! In fact, I have about four that I reach for often and highly recommend.

The first is Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Knot Out Conditioner. It literally melts my tangles and has an amazing slip that makes detangling such a breeze.

The second is Aphogee Keratin 2 minute reconstructor. This is a protein treatment that I use weekly or bi-weekly. In just 2 minutes, it penetrates my hair shaft, strengthens and repairs any damage caused by excessive styling.

I also have couple of Shea Moisture products that I’ve come to love over the years. Shea Moisture 10 in 1 Superfruit Complex Deep Conditioner which contains biotin and marula oil helps promote healthy natural hair. It leaves my dry hair feeling so soft, vibrant and looking shiny.

Shea Moisture JBCO Strengthen, Grow and Restore Leave-in Conditioner is yet another conditioner that I frequently reach for. It moisturizes my hair while strengthening it and not weighing it down.

T: Wow! With 4 conditioners on hand, it’s no wonder your curls are always popping! What do you use for styling?

S: Obia Naturals Curl Moisture Cream is what I use to moisturize and style my hair. It has a perfect consistency and defines the hell out of my curls.

T: Yes! Your curls are singing! Thanks so much for sharing your holy grails with us, Sheila!

S: It’s always a pleasure!

Did these amazing naturalistas share any of your current holy grails? Leave us a note below! We’d love to know what your holy grails are.

Does Race Affect How We Talk About Our Natural Hair?

African woman with kinky hair

Photo source: @cravingyellow

Based on my personal life experiences, race significantly affects how we perceive our natural hair.

I was born and raised in Kenya, but over the past decade, I have lived in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa – countries which all have very different histories with race.

Race, as I’ve come to observe over the years, isn’t just the color of our skin, it’s a social construct. In other words, race is an understanding of how our skin color affects our place in the world and is shaped in many ways by narratives that we are told as we grow up.

To me, race at its core is a social code. Race is learned and acquired behavior. To this end, one’s relationship with their race varies, depending on what part of the world they live in, and what side of history they find themselves on.

So that’s why you may find that darker-skinned Black women raised in continental Africa, have a different perception of their natural hair than do dark-skinned, Black women raised in the Islands or continental America.

Let me explain.

I grew up in a middle-income neighborhood in Nairobi, Kenya. It had predominantly Black Africans although my direct neighbors and their children were white or Caucasian American missionaries. I was best friends with Anna, with whom I was agemates.

I vividly remember one Saturday afternoon, when Anna and I decided to wash our hair. As a Caucasian, Anna’s hair took to water much differently than mine did. My kinks and coils shrunk up to within an inch of my head while Anna’s tresses bounced back to their usual glossy, blonde, gentle waves.

Fast forward to a couple of years later, when I moved to the United States to pursue my undergraduate degree. Having been born and raised in Kenya, my primary identity wasn’t my race but my social-economic class. I came from a stable middle-income family and had never lacked my entire life. I had studied in Kenya’s top schools and had earned myself a scholarship to a top university in America.

I thought my academic abilities would precede any other identities as I joined the University, but I soon realized, my race was to become my primary identity in the U.S.

I had to learn to “be black” – as captured so aptly in Chimamanda Adichie’s best selling book, Americanah.

Coincidentally, at the time at which I was joining the university, the natural hair movement was just starting to grow. I cut off my relaxed ends to focus on growing out my natural hair.

To me, the reasons behind my big chop weren’t primarily fired up by a history of racial injustices against my Black body, as many dark-skinned Black people have often asserted.

I perceived my big chop as a necessity. As a student in the U.S., I no longer had access to accessible braiding services found on many market corners in Africa. I had to cut my spending and maintain my hair in the most simple and budget-friendly way.

It was only when I came to learn about the history of race in America, that I began to understand the political importance of having snipped off my relaxed ends.

I began to understand how my kinks and curls had, at one point, relegated me to the lowest cadre of society. And by reclaiming and embracing my natural hair aesthetic, I was asserting my humanity.

Now my experience may not be universal, but it has taught me that race, as a social construct does affect how we talk about our natural hair.

I hope that we, as people of color and in particular, dark-skinned Black women, can gain a deeper empathy and understanding for the ways in which each of our natural hair experiences speaks to our raced history and by extension our perception of themselves.

And when speaking about our natural hair, I hope that we can learn to embrace the magic and power that is our natural aesthetic – kinks, coils, curls and all.

How do you feel race affects how we discuss our natural hair textures? Let me know in the comments below.

Can Rhassoul Clay Really "Soften" Hair? I Tried It

African-American woman smiling with natura hair

I have 20 inches of very coily hair so I tend to go for hair treatments that add slip to make my hair more manageable. Based on my experience, I’ve found that clay masks tend to do the opposite. They leave my hair feeling stripped, tangled and overwashed.

In fact, the very first time I used a clay mask on my natural hair, I spent a good hour or so washing it off. Turns out, it wasn’t the refined type that can be used on curly hair and so chunks of it got lodged in between my strands. Needless to say, it wasn’t fun at all. It also left my hair feeling rather stripped – possibly because I’d used undiluted apple cider vinegar as my base. My hair did not turn out like the YouTube tutorial I had so enthusiastically emulated. No, my curls weren’t “popping” and no, my hair was not shiny. Instead, it looked dull, lifeless and weighed down. I felt that my one experience with clays had delivered less than I’d bargained for. I felt as though clay masks were just not for me, or so I thought.

This changed recently, when I came across Carols Daughter’s Rhassoul Clay Softening Hair Mask. This is one of four products in Carol’s Daughter’s new range of products for “overworked and overwashed” hair.

Based on my aforementioned experience with clay masks, using Rhassoul Clay as a base for “overworked and overwashed” hair seems rather counter-intuitive, right? So how is it then that this formulation is different from my DIY one?

1. Good Mix of Oils

Now, remember how I mentioned that my hair prefers hair treatments with slip? Well, oils add lots of slip to conditioning treatments. Carol’s Daughter’s Rhassoul Clay has shea butter, sunflower seed oil, argan oil, vitamin E oil and soybean oil in its formulation. These oils help make hair pliable.

2. Good Mix of Emollients

The ingredients list includes cetearyl alcohol and behentimonium chloride. Now don’t be too dismayed by the fact that it contains alcohol. Some alcohols are actually good for hair. Cetearyl alcohols are emollients and they are known to soften the hair. They provide slip (yes that word again!”> to our favorite conditioners, which allows us to detangle our hair better. (Aha! No wonder this product might just work on my hair.”>

3. Water + Aloe Vera Juice Add a Boost of Moisture

My natural hair is prone to dryness, so for me, it is imperative that any product I use has water as its first and most prominent ingredient. Aloe vera juice is also a great source of moisture. Many health scientists celebrate it for its antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties.

My results

I found that Carol’s Daughter’s Rhassoul Clay was gentle on my type 4 coily hair. As compared to the all-purpose dry Bentonite clay that I’d previously tried out on my hair, I found that Carol’s Daughter’s Rhassoul Clay applied more evenly along the length of my hair. It was also a lot easier to rinse out and I didn’t have to spend hours dislodging chunks of clay from my strands.

While I was pretty satisfied with my results, I certainly wouldn’t use this clay mask as my weekly treatment. I found that it wasn’t as moisturizing as some of the holy grail deep conditioners I have come to love over the course of my hair journey. I would, however, use Carol’s Daughter’s Rhassoul Clay every three or so months to lift any build-up from my hair. This line is formulated for “active living,” so if you exercise or swim regularly and have to wash your hair more frequently as a result, you may want to check this out and find a frequency that works for you.

So there we have it, clay masks can work well on coily hair if they’re well formulated. It’s important to get the clay formulation right. In this case of Carol’s Daughter’s Rhassoul Clay Softening Mask, the clay used in the formulation is of a good grade. But it also matters what else is in the mix. Oils, emollients and good ol’ water seem to go a long way in balancing out the drying effects of a clay.

Have you tried a clay mask on your hair? If so, share your experience with us in the comments below.

Further reading:

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Wigs as a Protective Style

African-American woman smiling wearing a wig

When I first started wearing wigs as a protective style, it took me a while to figure out what wigs suited my personal aesthetic and most importantly my budget. Luckily for me, the natural hair community was taking shape online, so several naturalistas had YouTube reviews on various wig brands and retail outlets.

Since then, wigs have become more popular amongst naturalistas as protective styles. Here’s a guide on how you can use them while caring for your natural hair.

1. Find The Right Wig

Wigs are available at many local beauty supply stores as well as online e-commerce sites such as, and You can browse several styles according to the hair type, length, cut, color and parting how you’d like. You can learn more about my favorite wigs in every category here.

Generally, synthetic wigs tend to be cheaper, but they don’t last as long while wigs made with virgin human hair can cost several hundred dollars, but if well-maintained can be used for months as protective styles. When finding the right wig, also take into consideration its cap construction. Higher end wigs tend to have a full cap construction made of swiss lace. Mid-tier units tend to incorporate lace fronts but with a smaller budget, you’re likely to get synthetic lace wigs.

The main difference between swiss and synthetic lace, tends to be that the former is more breathable than the latter. This can, in the long term, be better for the health of your natural hair and scalp.

2. Prep Your Hair

Assuming you’ve found the right wig, go ahead and prep your hair for your protective styles. Remember, our natural hair is fragile, so even while wearing wigs, it’s imperative that we keep our ends protected.

It’s best to wear wigs on freshly cleansed and moisturised hair. Avoid applying heavy pomades and butters that can clog your scalp’s pores or leave excessive residue on your wig. As best as you can, have your hair in neat cornrows or even two-strand twists. Leaving your hair in a shrunken fro will only lead to tangling and matting under your wig.

Remember, the goal of protective styles is to give our hair a break from manipulation to preserve its health in the long run.

3. Care For Your Edges

In my experience as a blogger, losing your edges has to be one of the top concerns of readers who are hesitant to wear wigs. Now trust me, I get it. When I first started wearing wigs, I made the mistake of securing them with old bobby pins or worse still, combs. Within a couple of months, I noticed my edges were receding!

Over time, I’ve learned to better care for my edges. First, I apply castor oil at least twice a week between uses. Castor oil is speculated to stimulate one’s hair follicles leading to hair growth.

Secondly, I use bobby pins to avoid scratching my scalp and tearing at hair shafts as I secure my wig. I make sure to regularly shift the placement of my bobby pins to avoid causing too much wear and tear on my hair.

Lastly, I avoid glue and tape, by all means, possible as they are known to pull out entire hair bulbs especially when the wig is being removed.

4. Keep Your Hair Cleansed and Moisturized

Remember to take care of your natural hair. This means keeping it cleansed and moisturised even as you wear wigs. I tend to take off my wigs at the end of the day to allow my scalp to breathe. I keep up my regimen as usual by deep conditioning weekly and sealing in the moisture with a light oil like argan or grapeseed oil. I also take time to re-tuck in my ends to ensure they can fully benefit from being protected.

In addition, I take breaks from wigs and switch up my protective styling using two strand twists or braid outs. Wearing wigs for excessive periods of time can lead to scalp irritation or even fungal infections. I try to keep my wigging cycles up to 8 weeks and then give my hair 4 weeks to aerate.

5. Care For Your Wigs

To get the most out of your unit, be sure to wash it at least once every two weeks with a mild shampoo. Depending on whether it is made of human hair or not, you can go on to deep condition it, particularly if you’ve applied dyes to it. Most units will come with an instruction manual on how to care for the wig so take some time to read this carefully in order to increase the shelf-life of your unit.

Do you wear wigs as protective styles? If so, how often do you wear them and how do you keep a healthy regimen and care for your scalp?

Leave us a note down below!

Further reading:

How to Save Time by Deep Conditioning On The Go

African-American woman with natural hair smiling

Deep conditioning is absolutely essential to the health of my hair, so no matter how full my schedule is, I find time to moisturize my strands. I work full-time and run a blog so I’m constantly on the go. If I’m not creating content, I’m on social media interacting with my readers and followers.

You can probably relate and understand how self-care can take the back seat. Sometimes life demands a lot from us, but in those moments we have to find time to nurture our bodies even if it means multi-tasking, say by deep conditioning on the go.

Luckily when it comes to natural hair care, we can keep our hair moisturized as we run other errands. Here are three tricks I always have up my sleeve while deep conditioning on the go:

1. Steam As You Work Out

Now this one can be a bit tricky. When I say work out, I’m referring to a low-intensity cardio or weight-lifting workout. If you’re doing a high intensity dance routine or very rigorous cardio, this may not be for you. But if you’re not, you may consider using your gym time to deep condition on the go. Apply your deep conditioner on your hair, throw on your plastic cap and cover your hair with a light satin cloth. You’ll find that the heat you generate as you exercise has the added benefit of creating an all-natural steaming effect on your strands. Heat can help products be better absorbed into your hair.

2. Use a Heating Cap

The natural hair community is beaming with innovation. And one of the products that meet a common need is a steam cup or heating cap. A heating cap is a device you wear over your head – it simply uses steam to send moisture into the cuticle of your hair as you are deep conditioning. So rather than have to sit under a steamer for an hour while you have other tasks to do, just throw on your steam cap or heating cap at home and continue with household chores or duties.

Further reading:

How to enhance your hair color with steam

How to make your deep conditioner work better

How to steam your hair without a steamer

African-American woman smiling and wearing a headwrap
Photo courtesy of @wanzalla

3. Wrap It Up & Head Out

Head wraps and turbans are a great way to add edge to your outfit. I wear them out a lot, particularly if I’m meeting with friends for evening drinks or even just running errands. Since your hair is covered anyway, why not add a layer underneath? Simply apply your deep conditioner to your hair then wear a plastic cap. Afterwards, just wrap your head as you would normally and voila! You’ve killed two birds with one stone – you’re looking stylish while deep conditioning on the go.

Do you deep condition on the go? What techniques do you use to ensure you moisturize your strands as you multi-task. Feel free to leave us a note down below and share your top tips!

Meet Two of Kenya’s Budding Natural Hair Bloggers

The natural hair care scene in Kenya is buzzing! Now more than ever before, women are ditching relaxers and proudly wearing their kinks and curls. With the growth of online natural hair communities, Kenyan natural hair bloggers are springing up to share content that is relevant to their local context.

I reached out to two of my favorite Kenyan bloggers – Sharon of @mykenyanpuff and Vikky of @napspiration to find out more about what they do and how they’re changing the narrative in Kenya.

kenya girl smiling with natural hair

Vikky Wamnbui

Hey ladies, can you introduce yourselves?!

Vikky: Hello there! I’m Vikky Wambui. I’m a 38-year-old single mom. I have an 18-year-old son and I work for a leading international courier company as a Country Commercial Manager.

Sharon: Hey! I’m Sharon Malonza and I’m an 18-year-old university student.

When did you go natural?

V: I’ve been natural for five years – I did my big chop in May 2012.

S: I decided to go off relaxers and start my natural hair journey in 2015. After transitioning for ten months, I big chopped in March 2016.

girl wearing locs

Sharon Malonza

Why did you start blogging and how can we find you on social media?

V: I started my platform to document my hair journey and inspire others who are considering going natural. I also review locally available products. On Facebook and Instagram, I go by the name Napspiration.

S: Over the course of my hair journey, I’ve found myself spending hours reading different hair blogs and watching YouTube videos. I’ve been so hungry for knowledge and have become the go-to person among my girlfriends for all things natural hair. My YouTube channel is an extension of this passion. I do everything from tutorials and tips to product reviews.

What are some of the challenges facing Kenya’s natural hair and blogging scene?

V: The blogging scene, is still a small community and we all pretty much know each other. But I think we don’t collaborate enough and can still do a lot more to grow each other and the industry.

S: Kenyans are amazing people but we can be harsh critics towards our very own. I understand that we value quality but sometimes we can be a tough crowd to please. In regards to hair blogging, our content can be very monotonous. Many times, we are doing what has already been done by bloggers, from other countries, who started before us. It’s quite a challenge to create unique and original content.

Interesting point, Sharon. As a natural hair blogger, how are you overcoming this issue in creating more original content?

S: Well there is still a lot of room to localize content. For example, many naturals are still looking for locally available products so I do reviews on local, Kenyan-brands. I also include lifestyle tips and hacks from a Kenyan girl’s perspective.

What is some advice you would give to a girl that is transitioning?

V: Going natural is a process. You may have your big chop coming up in a while but it takes time to feel fully confident to rock your curls in whatever style you please. By documenting your journey reminds you of why you started and how far you’ve come. So when you’re really not feeling your fro, take out your camera and ‘document’.

S: If you want your hair to grow healthy, you don’t necessarily have to mimic everything you see on YouTube or Instagram as is. Be sure to take your hair’s unique needs into consideration – including your hair’s density, porosity – and then build a regimen that works for you, your lifestyle and your budget.

What’s your hair regimen? Holy grails?

V: I pre-poo my hair overnight using Shea Hair Treatment Pre-Poo by Femmes de Karite. I then wash my hair with Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo. It’s been a favorite of mine for a while now as it cleans my hair and scalp really well while at the same time moisturizing it. When it comes to conditioning, I normally wash my hair in four sections and I use Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner as it has a lot of slip. I follow up by deep conditioning for thirty minutes with my heating cap. I recently tried Shea Moisture’s Super Fruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Hair Masque and I love it! The smell, slip, the moisture it infused into my hair was amazing. When it comes to moisturizing and styling, I use Yangu Rich Creme by Harvest of Sunshine as a detangler. I then twist my hair into eight chunky twists and keep them for three or so days.

S: I wash my hair every ten days because I have low porosity hair. I begin by sectioning my hair into four and then spritzing it with some water. My pre-poo consists of Tresemme Naturals Conditioner mostly sealed in with coconut oil or amla oil. I pre-poo for about an hour and then shampoo my hair with Creme of Nature Sulfate-Free Shampoo. I deep condition with Mega Growth Deep Conditioner, making sure to soak my strands from root to tip. I use my heating cap from Natrella for about 30 minutes so as to get the most from my DC. After rinsing out my treatment, I t-shirt dry my hair and use the Liquid-Cream-Oil method to seal in the moisture in my strands. I twist up my hair in two-strand twists, leave them overnight and the next morning, I unravel them for a chunky twist out.

Many thanks to Vikky and Sharon for shedding some light on the blogging scene in Kenya. Feel free to stay connected with these curlies around the world by checking them out on their social media platforms.

How’s the blogging and natural hair community in your country? Feel free to leave us a note down below, we’d love to know who your favorite natural hair bloggers in your country are!